Journalists need time for self-care in much changed landscape
Many industries have suffered greatly since the pandemic began last spring, but few more so than journalism.
With many publications having gone under since the crisis started, and the newsroom now, often, being the same as the living room, the mental health of those in the industry is under attack like never before.
To add to this, politicians and the public have frequently put the boot into journalism, which as a profession has at times been used as a convenient scapegoat for the many troubles caused by the strangest period in a life time.
Under paid, overworked and often under-appreciated, it is no wonder huge numbers of journalists are suffering with mental health problems.
The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism highlighted the huge emotional toll on journalists in the past year since the pandemic took hold, and prominent journalists, including one time government spin doctor Alistair Campbell have been vocal about the low ebb the profession finds itself in.
Here at PressPlugs talking to journalists every day, we have heard many tales from those who have suffered greatly in recent times, so here are some tips to help navigate these difficult times.
Turn your phone off at times and walk away
The hold modern technology has on journalists is vice like, but consciously take time to put the phone out of the way and do something else. Of course, some journalists have to be on call, but does it have to be 24/7? If not show the phone that you are its master.
Make time for breaks
Reward yourself with little breaks for a cup of coffee or even to empty the dishwasher. You can’t be stuck in front of the screen all the time. Have you tried the Pomodoro technique, which is all about periods of intense focus and little breaks. Try this, it will help. https://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-pomodoro-technique-1598992730
Eat as healthily as possible and get some exercise
When you’re feeling low it’s tempting to wolf down several Kit Kats and to slump in front of the TV, but consciously fight this. Bad food and being sedentary are the ideal breeding grounds for a miserable mindset, so try to eat as well as you can and do some exercise, even if it’s some housework.
Get outside if possible and amongst nature
In Japan forest bathing, getting reconnected with nature, is recommended as a tonic to battle depression. It’s becoming much more accepted here to too. Get outside, have a walk in the park and take some deep breaths.
Plan your days, preferably the night before, and be gentle on the schedule. Also, try to eliminate pointless meetings and phone calls, instead making time to reconnect to people you care about. It’s vital to plan your leisure time just as much as your work schedule.
Recognise you’ll have days when you are on the floor
Sometimes there are bad days, and everyone has them. Be gentle on yourself and try to accept that it’s just about getting through the now. Just realise they are part of life and remember you’ve had days like this before, but the next one can be better. After all the sunshine follows the rain.
There are many ways that people can improve their mental health and if you are suffering do make it a goal to improve your mental health and work on it.
We wish you well.